Corey, Giles

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Giles Corey

Ann Putnam, Jr., Marcy Lewis, Abigail Williams, Mary Walcott and Elizabeth Hubbard accused Giles Corey of witchcraft in April of

1692. He pleaded "not guilty" but refused to be tried by the court which, in his view, had already determined his guilt, so he

stood mute rather "putting himself on the country." He was sentenced to peine forte et dure, even though it was an illegal

punishment, and ended up being torturously crushed to death on (or before) September 18, 1692. One of the major factors which

made Giles Corey a prime target was not only his relationship with the rest of the community but also his past encounters with

the law, including a prior conviction for murder. His chosen means of resistance and dramatic death reveal a strength of character

that playwrights, from Longfellow to Arthur Miller, have found irresistible.

See Also

Important Persons in the Salem Court Records Salem Witch Trials, Univ. of Virginia

Salem possessed; the social origins of witchcraft by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum 1974.